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Navy S Marine Corps Medical News
July 7, 2000
This message has been coordinated with the commandant of
the Marine Corps (CMC) . The commandant has authorized
transmission to Marine Corps activities.
Navy and Marine Corps Medical News (MEDNEWS) is a weekly
compendium of news and information contributed by commands
throughout the Navy Medical department . Information contained
in MEDNEWS stories is not necessarily endorsed by Navy Bureau of
Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) , nor should it be considered
official Navy policy.
BUMED distributes MEDNEWS to Sailors and Marines, their
families, civilian employees and retired Navy and Marine Corps
families . Further distribution is highly encouraged.
Stories in MEDNEWS use these abbreviations after a Navy
medical professional ' s name to show affiliation: MC -
Medical Corps (physician) ; DC - Dental Corps; NC - Nurse
Corps; MSC - Medical Service Corps (clinicians, researchers
and administrative managers) . Hospital Corpsmen (HM) and
Dental Technician (DT) designators are placed in front of
Contents for this week's MEDNEWS:
- Naval Hospital Jacksonville aids lightning victims
- Nursing Symposium held aboard USNS MERCY
- USS WASP number one donor in the fleet
- Dental residency program graduates the finest
- 'Primary care manager by name ' starts in Negishi
- Gap bridged between past and present amphibious operations
- TRICARE question and answer
- Anthrax question and answer
- Healthwatch: Autism - myths and realities
Headline: Naval Hospital Jacksonville aids lightning victims
From Naval Hospital Jacksonville Public Affairs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's hard to consider yourself lucky
if you get hit by lightning, but for three Sailors at Naval Air
Station Jacksonville, the odds were stacked in their favor when
they were struck by lightning June 27.
The three were on their way to their automobiles as a
thunderstorm was fast approaching. As they reached their
vehicles a bolt of lightning touched down striking all three.
Fortunately, Family Practice physician Lt . Cmdr. Steve
Blivin, MC, and his wife were in a nearby legal office building.
"We heard a loud crack of thunder. We commented on it,
thinking that it must have hit the ground and ignored it, " said
Blivin. "Then I heard someone in the building say that the
lightning had hit someone. I ran out into the parking lot where
I found three Sailors that had been injured by the bolt of
One Sailor was not breathing and two suffered minor
"I went over to him, opened his airway and started mouth-
to-mouth resuscitation. After a while he started breathing on
his own and had a very weak pulse, " said Blivin.
Several ambulances arrived on the scene within minutes.
The paramedics quickly provided oxygen and a heart monitor on
the seriously injured Sailor.
"When we got there, it was pretty chaotic — people were
everywhere. We responded immediately, " said HN Jason Braswell,
driver of the first ambulance to arrive on scene.
After checking on one of the other Sailors, Blivin
returned to his original patient only to find that again he had
"Thank God the ambulance crews were there because they had
the right equipment we needed to get his pulse back, " said
"The second patient was conscious but wasn't really sure
what had happened. We gave him oxygen because he was having
difficulty breathing and transported him to the emergency room
as fast as we could, " said Braswell .
The NH Jacksonville emergency room team rose to the
challenge of three lightning victims arriving simultaneously.
"These three injured Sailors could not have received
better care in any medical facility, anywhere. We're all praying
for a complete recovery for all three, " said Naval Hospital
Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Barb Vernoski, MC.
Headline: Nursing Symposium held aboard USNS MERCY
By J02 Stacie Rose, Navy Compass Staff Writer
USNS MERCY (T-AH 19) hosted its first Operational Nursing
Symposium recently sponsored by Naval Medical Center San Diego.
About 130 people from Navy, Air Force, and Army nursing
The theme of the conference was "Sharing successful
practices in the Operational Arena. " A total of 24 lectures on
all aspects of operational nursing were conducted.
"Participants heard from a very talented group of
speakers, passed stories and networked, " said Cmdr. Karen
McKinsey, head of the Nursing Department aboard USNS MERCY, and
an event organizer .
As part of the symposium USNS MERCY called flight quarters
and a SH-60F Seahawk helicopter landed on the flight deck to
allow the symposium attendees to tour. On the pier, a hospital
trauma tent was also on display for the attendees .
"The symposium was an overwhelming success, especially
with the junior nurses and corpsman, " said McKinsey . "This was a
good start and an excellent foundation to build on. "
Headline: USS WASP number one donor in the fleet
By JOSN Kevin D. Sullenberger
ABOARD USS WASP (LHD 1) - USS WASP broke a unique Navy
record recently while participating in a significant
humanitarian effort. The call to duty, during Mediterranean
deployment 2000 however, was not assisting in relief efforts
after a devastating earthquake, evacuating allied civilians from
a hostile area, or fighting a fire at sea; it was a chance to
perhaps save the lives of thousands of Americans who are
diagnosed with leukemia or other fatal blood diseases .
During a two-day transit to Naples, Italy, Sailors and
Marines formed a line in WASP's medical department to give a
blood sample to the Bill Young Marrow Program, a Department of
Defense program founded by Congressman Bill Young and managed by
the Naval Medical Research Institute. The program collects
blood samples and tissue types then DOD volunteers enter the
potential lifesaving information into the National Marrow Donor
Registry' s database.
"We have a better turnout at commands that are underway, "
said Lt. Cindy Campbell, Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean' s
Bone Marrow Donor Drive Coordinator .
Campbell, the only service member in the Mediterranean
qualified to run the drive, said that it's easier to get more
participation from a command at sea because there is a higher
concentration of personnel in one area and the medical facility
on a ship is within walking distance . After running a two-
minute television spot throughout the ship, distributing flyers
on the mess decks, and making routine announcements on the
ship's announcing system, volunteers appeared with their sleeves
USS WASP topped the Navy record of 796 volunteers held by
USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74) . WASP also set the standard for
amphibious ship participation by nearly doubling the 456
participants USS BATAAN (LHD 5) turned into the national
While the donors took time from their daily routine to
pitch in, 25 dedicated corpsmen attached to USS WASP and 24th
Marine Expeditionary Unit (SOC) worked from morning to night
drawing blood and filing donor registration .
In addition to its humanitarian role, the donor program
gives the military the capability to provide immediate donor
searches in the event of a mass casualty incident involving
chemical or nuclear attacks where toxic agents can destroy bone
The blue-green team finished their drive with 866 donor
entries, completing another successful mission for USS WASP's
Mediterranean Deployment 2000.
"It was a life-saving effort, " said WASP's Commanding
Officer Capt. Hugh G. Story. "I appreciate the efforts of
everyone involved. "
Headline : Dental residency program graduates the finest
By LCDR Dan Pacheco, MSC, Naval Dental Center, Great Lakes
GREAT LAKES, 111 . - Twenty-seven Navy dental officers
recently completed an intense one-year residency training
program at Naval Dental Center, Great Lakes. Disbursed among
three separate program specialties (Advanced Education in
General Dentistry (AEGD) , General Practice Residency (GPR) , and
General Dentistry Fellows (GDF) ) , these graduates received
comprehensive, specialized training in support of fleet and
operational force requirements.
The goal of the program is to prepare some of the best and
brightest dental officers for operational assignments and
The AEGD residents focus on comprehensive dental training
in the clinical setting, while the GPRs receive similar training
in a hospital setting. Newly accessed lieutenants competed for
a limited number of GDF training slots that offer mentored
training in clinical skills in each specialty area of dentistry .
During a joint graduation ceremony with Naval Hospital
Great Lakes, GPR residents, Capt. George H. Graf, commanding
officer Naval Dental Center, Great Lakes, lauded the graduates
as the future of Navy Medicine and dentistry .
"I challenge each of you to take with you the technical
and professional aspects of this past year and use them to drive
Navy Dentistry to higher levels of dental readiness and
optimization of dental health, " said Graf.
In her congratulatory remarks, Capt. Elaine C. Holmes,
commanding officer, Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, added, "These
high quality education programs are at the cornerstone of our
readiness. You have prepared yourselves through hard work and
dedication to function independently in some of the most
exciting and challenging circumstances in which our Navy permits
us to serve. "
Headline: 'Primary Care Manager By Name' starts in Negishi
By Bill Doughty, PAO, U. S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka
YOKOSUKA, Japan - U. S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka has
refined its Primary Care services and teams with the start of
Primary Care Manager By Name at Negishi Annex. Each patient is
now being assigned to an individual health care provider.
"They ' ve been doing the primary-care-manager-by-name in
the States for a long time, " said Lt. Cmdr. Dan Hunter, the new
Negishi primary care manager . "It lets you know who you 're
going to see so you can put a face with a name. "
According to 10-year Negishi resident Cynthia Palmer, wife
of MA2 Kevin Palmer, this is the first time Negishi had a full
Family Practice doctor here.
"This morning my treatment was excellent . All my concerns
were answered and I just feel really great about our clinic
right now, " Ms. Palmer said.
"I guess the bottom line is, I care about my patients .
Even from my last command I still think about my patients I knew
for my 2 1/2 years there. So the patients I get to know I will
always remember . I want to do the best for them, " Hunter said.
The Negishi community seems to be embracing the Primary
Care Manager By Name concept .
"It ' s going to be a pleasure to have the same people to
relate all your problems to on the same basis, " said Palmer.
"Continuity is the foundation of medicine wherever you
are, " said Hunter.
Headline : Gap bridged between past and present amphibious
By Jeff Brown, Editor the Great Lakes bulletin
GREAT LAKES, 111. - Veteran Sailors of the Medical
Evacuation and Troop Transport ship USS GOSPER (APA 170) learned
about today's Navy Medicine as they gathered recently for their
biannual reunion at the Chicago Sheraton.
They saw old friends and gained new knowledge about a
Medical department that they helped to shape. Their ship was
among the hundreds supporting the invasion of Okinawa, more than
50 years ago.
"The World War II veterans were the trendsetters with the
deployment of the Landing Ship Tank as a medical platform and
the use of ships like the USS GOSPER for medical evacuation, "
said Lt. Youssef Aboul-Enein, MSC, who spoke about the
capabilities of amphibious warships today.
These service men and their historical actions influenced
medical advancements such as use of the helicopter in medical
The veterans were introduced to the types of medical
support and the evolution of amphibious ships from 8, 500 ton
Landing Ship Transports to the 40, 000 ton Landing Helicopter
"They were fascinated with the level of care provided
aboard a WASP-Class ship, with its six operating rooms and 540
bed overflow, " said Aboul-Enein .
The GOSPER veterans were astounded to hear and proud to be
a part of the foundation of medical evacuation options available
to today's medical professionals at sea and preventive medicine
efforts that are undertaken by ship's medical departments.
TRICARE question and answer
Question: How do I switch from TRICARE Standard to Extra
and vice-versa? Can I do this at any time?
Answer: As long as you are not enrolled in TRICARE Prime, you
may switch between Standard and Extra at any time. You can
switch by making the choice between any civilian doctor and a
doctor within the Extra network.
Anthrax question and answer
Question: Is there a requirement for long-term follow-up
after the anthrax vaccine is administered?
Answer: No. Just like other FDA-licensed products, the
anthrax vaccine does not require follow-up monitoring of healthy
vaccine recipients. Nonetheless, the DoD has already conducted
such studies and is conducting more. No data collected to date
shows any patterns of adverse events developing years after
people have been vaccinated with anthrax vaccine or any other
Headline: Healthwatch: Autism — myths and realities
By LCDR Mark C. Russell, MSC, Ph.D., Child Clinical Psychologist
YOKOSUKA, Japan - There appears to be a lot of mystique
and misinformation surrounding autism, often perpetuated by the
media and movies like "Rain Man" and "A House of Cards, " and
some outdated theories about its causes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of
life-long developmental conditions caused by an abnormality of
the brain that affects as many as 1 in 500 individuals
Over 500,000 people in the U.S. today have an ASD. Its
prevalence rate makes ASD one of the most common developmental
disabilities . It is characterized by problems with social
interaction and communication skills and by the need for
sameness or repetition in behavior. The three main types of ASD
include autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, and
Asperger' s disorder.
There is a great deal of variability in functioning within
a certain diagnosis so that an individual may have mild,
moderate, or severe levels of a particular ASD. Therefore, no
two individuals with an ASD are alike.
Some people with ASD are relatively high functioning , with
speech and intelligence intact but others are mentally retarded,
mute, or have serious language delays.
Most ASD begins at birth or within the first 2 1/2 years
of life. Because of their difficulties in communicating and
social interactions it hard for them to communicate with others
and relate to the outside world. In some cases, aggressive
and/or self-injurious behavior may be present.
In general, individuals with ASD are not threatening and
do not pose a harm to others. Persons with autism may exhibit
repeated body movements, unusual responses to people or
attachments to objects, restricted range of interests, and
resistance to changes in routines . Some also experience
sensitivities in the five senses of sight, hearing, touch,
smell, and taste.
Probably the most fascinating and sensationalized feature
of ASD popularized by films such as "Rain Man, " are "autistic
savant " skills, which are extraordinary abilities not exhibited
by most persons. Approximately 10 percent of individuals with
ASD have savant abilities; the most common forms involve
mathematical calculations , memory feats, artistic abilities, and
musical abilities .
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the
causes of ASD are poorly understood, although it is clear that
autism is a biological brain disorder . It is widely accepted
that ASD is a complex combination of genetic and environmental
factors that effect brain development .
There is no cure for ASD although some medication may
relieve symptoms associated with the disorders. Research has
consistently shown that early detection and intervention,
especially before the age of 5 years, can play a critical role
in the long-term prognosis or outcome for a child with an ASD.
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